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TOPIC: concession layout

concession layout 28 Jun 2002 08:53 #27805

  • Mike
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We have a new counter coming that isn't designed yet. How do you like the flow. This will be a straight 12' counter with a wall at the right and a hall toward the screens on the far left end. How would you set this up?

Michael Hurley
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Re: concession layout 28 Jun 2002 10:30 #27806

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Two sales stations. Place the popcorn poper in the middle in the front or back. Place the soda towers on each end of the counter. Candy cases in front of each cashier.
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Re: concession layout 28 Jun 2002 19:43 #27807

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what if you don't need a second register? Or do you need a second register at all times? This is a two screen with 220 seats each.

Michael Hurley
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Re: concession layout 28 Jun 2002 23:13 #27808

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I think is best to always have that 2nd register. When you get busy you'll need it, or else sales will slow down as someone is waiting to use the only register. That will chase people away as many do not want to wait very long at all.
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Re: concession layout 29 Jun 2002 07:29 #27809

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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Mike:
<B>what if you don't need a second register? Or do you need a second register at all times? This is a two screen with 220 seats each.

</B><HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

We originally started with 1 register at the Mar with a total seating capacity of 380. Went to a second station within one month of opening. We found that the investmenmt in a second register (approx 400.00) was very worthwhile We processed the crowd so much better. Everyone seems to arrive 15 min before show time and if the concession line is long patrons will just pass it by.
When we redid our concession area we also raised the floor 6" . This hollow space greatly facilitated installing plumbing, electrical and data cabling. Something I would add if I ever redo it again , would be a trough type floor drain running under the sink,pop dispencers,and ice machine. With this you could relocate machines at will without worrying about existing drain locations. All drains from these appliances are required to be site drains so they can discharge into a trench type drain very easily. As an added bonus the trench drain would also capture any plumbing spills from mechanical failures.Another lesson learned was to install a sub - breaker panel in the concession area to service it. When a breaker trips you don't have to leave the area to reset it. Just watch local codes regarding locating the panel in proximity to things such as sinks

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Re: concession layout 29 Jun 2002 16:45 #27810

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I know that I am going to be a maverick here but here goes. Based on our current set up and the changes that we would envision I would also advise that you have the ability to serve 2 lines but 12 feet is very limited.

If you are going to have cash registers at all you need two, but if you set up completely separate stations your candy cases are going to be very small which is one of the bad things about newer theaters. We stock 38 different kinds of candy in our case and I don't think I have seen any theaters built in the last 10 years that have a candy case that could accommodate our setup. Could you have one big case and manage to find a way to get candy handed from one cashier to the other? Then the customers in the wrong line can't see the candy to pick it out. Problem area #1 there.

Here is where I am going to be a maverick. We are serving a 322 seat theater with a Gold Medal Citation 14 oz popper. It makes good popcorn and I have found that the smaller poppers make better popcorn in general. We seldom, if ever, run short of popcorn but it takes careful management and timing. We looked into bigger poppers just to relieve the stress of worrying about running out of popcorn but we can't bring ourselves to spend $6,000 for a popper when we think that we might be better off with 2 of our current model - cost about $1,500 each including oil pump. That way we would not even use the second machine on slow nights, we would not be overpopping for the smaller size crowds and the deer outside the theater would not have a huge nightly banquet at our expense. (They are already raising families- twins even- on what we throw out). My current counter is 17' and we will only add the 2nd popper when and if we expand the concession stand. But I think that I would put in two small poppers, 1 large pop machine and 2 big candy cases in my preferred set up. I can handle drink orders for two lines efficiently so I only need one pop machine. I have a strong preference for putting the pop machine on the front counter so that I am facing the customers while pouring drinks. That helps me monitor them from a theft perspective and from a customer satisfaction perspective. I would also love to put the poppers on the front counter since kids really enjoy watching the popcorn pop, but I am willing to sacrifice that if necessary.

I think I have indicated before that we don't use cash registers. We use calculators and total in our heads so that we can service customers fast. We also serve customers as a team. One person on pop, one on popcorn and one central person taking orders and money. This works well for us. That way each side person (pop or popcorn) can also fit in orders from the next customer in line if the central person gets tied up by one of those undecided customers. It means that we have only one line but several ways to serve more than one customer at a time. Basically, you've gotta do whatever works best in the space that is available to you. If you can get two separate lines in that is good but has tradeoffs.


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Re: concession layout 29 Jun 2002 18:52 #27811

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I'm learning a lot here; thank you all. I particularly like the @@@@ have a sub panel for the concession area. Very important.

One nice thing about this building and the concess stand area is that there is a full basement with a stairs to a storage room and staff bathroom directly below, plenty of plumbing very available.

I'm liking the 2 location planning: Cretors Diplomat (sorry Gold Medal)popcorn center
with seperate candy and registers right and left with soda dispenser centered behind the popcorn. Does that work? The idea of turning around behind? Also a stand up cooler for specialty drinks and a full counter on the back for all of my concession wet dream space! Then you could have one station up for quiet nights but be ready to go on busier nights.

Michael Hurley
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Re: concession layout 29 Jun 2002 19:21 #27812

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If I were to have just one popper and one soda station, I would put the popper in the back and the Soday up front.

But I know a nice twin that has two soda heads and one popper. The Soda towers are at each end and the popper is in the middle of the front counter. There should still be enough room for cash registers and candy counter.

Our popper is 36" wide.
Our Soda Heads are 25" wide, with ice.
Our Cash Registers are 18" wide.
Our Butter Pumps are 9" wide

My assistant manager thinks you would get by with just one soda head based on our use. We have two heads and one gets used 95% of the time and the other one gets used on Saturday night. We have 900 seats.
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Re: concession layout 30 Jun 2002 19:41 #27813

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Mike-
Two selling stations are a must, you just need them for those times you have two big movies, or when you've got a merchant sponsored kid show or something.People hate, to wait and will avoid the stand if they perceive tey will be waiting.
The soda machine should be centered in the front of the stand. I don't think you need more than one machine, remember you can get machines with as many heads as you need. You can have two of the same heads for the popular drinks. I would have a floor model popcorn warmer in the front. OR you could put the popper on the back counter in the middle of the two serving stations and omit the floor model warmer altogether. Personally, I would do both. Now the "candy case" as you put it could be done many different ways. Most new builds have a small "display box area". What I mean by that is that it displays the candies for sale only, it doesn't hold any of them, as they are kept in drawers behind the stand. So that is an option, just build the display box into the front of the stand, or another idea would be to have the candy case located somewhere in the front of the stand, or another idea, would be to just make your own nice looking display (a local independant in the area just glues the candy boxes to a piece of poster board,puts it on the back wall for all to see then keeps the candy in drawers behind the stand)I would probably do that (but make it look nicer, have a nice display box built and mounted on the back wall-that way everybody can see it, because if it is a case in the front, someone will almost always be standing in front of it.This way everybody is able to see it, and you can keep your candy in drawers in the stand. Counter top refrigerator for bottled juices, waters, ONE big, Superpretzel warmer with the shelves, for both pretzels and nachos, one Gehls bag-in box nacho cheese dispenser for the cheese for the same, hang cotton candy from chains mounted to the ceiling or along the back wall.One server products automatic butter machine on the front of the stand. Don't forget to leave plenty of room on the back of your stand for the tubs/bags. The soda cups/lids should be held by the soda machine in their own holders.Leave plenty of room for you to have enough stock on hand in the stand in locked cupboards,cups/tubs/bags/butter/cheese/salt/nacho chips/napkins/straws/etc...
One thing I can't say enough about it marketing...If people can see it, they will buy it, if you can make it look appealing and attractive, they will buy it. I am a firm believer in back lit signage, list all your items and prices, provide a couple of nice back lit pictures of nachos, or popcorn and a drink, etc. Get all of the advertising material from the suppliers, get those "Superpretzel" signs from J and J snack foods, get the nachos sign from Gehls cheese,get your cotton candy out there where people can see it, etc...

The best thing to do would be visit a few theatres, both independants, and chains, and see what others are doing, watch and learn from what they have done.Some companies also will show you pictures of some of the stands they have done, pretend your shopping around and take a look at those for some ideas.

This is the area of the theatre where the money is made, so it needs to be well thought out.
Good luck,
Jeff
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Re: concession layout 01 Jul 2002 12:50 #27814

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We are a single screen 900 seat theatre. Our concession counter is 23' wide. Our lobby is shallow, so there isn't much room for the lines to be long. Nothing is on the back wall. The popper is in the center, Diplomat, with a drink station with ice bin on both sides centered. On regular nights we have 2 people working concessions, one for each line. On really busy nights we have 5, one at each drink station, one at each cash drawer (we do not use registers) and one devoted totally to popcorn. I guess the only thing different is our candy counter. It is in the center in front of the popper, low enough that you see the corn popping, open to the lobby. We stock about 40 different types of candy,rack holds about 700, the smaller sizes like you buy at a convenience or grocery store. The first comment I get from any other theatre owner that comes in is "I bet they are stealing you blind", my response is, "I am sure we have some candy that doesn't get paid for, but that loss is minimal in comparison to the additional sales we make by allowing the kids to grab what they want and then convincing Mom & Dad to pay for it."
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